Although many users rarely do it, switching between mobile carriers can be really helpful. One of the main benefits we could say is that you can lower your cell phone bill significantly, especially when switching from a major carrier to an MVNO. If the switch is from MVNO to MVNO, the difference might not be big, as with Cricket vs Metro by T-Mobile.
Yeah, indeed, the two are MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) since they don’t have their own network towers. However, each carrier tends to run on a different network spectrum but while using GSM technologies. So, they both can share most unlocked cell phones, including their own branded models.
Anyhow, the purpose of this article is to help you decide between Metro vs Cricket service. So, you can read on if you’d like to know the operator with the best coverage, rate plans, internet speeds, video streaming, and extra perks.
Cricket vs Metro: A Summary On the Cell Phone Operators
|Feature||Cricket Wireless||Metro by T-Mobile|
|Parent Company||AT&T||T-Mobile US|
|Lowest Phone Plan||$30||$30|
|Family Plan Discounts||YES||YES|
|Free Mexico/ Canada Call Pass||YES (varies)||NO|
|Video Streaming||YES [Up to HD quality]||YES [Up to HD Quality]|
|Phone Unlock Period||180 Days||180 Days|
|Extra Perks||150GB cloud storage, Unlimited mobile hotspot, Free HBO Max streaming, Unlimited texting up to 37 Countries||Music Unlimited, 100GB Cloud Storage, Amazon Prime Membership|
Is Cricket Wireless Worth it?
In truth, YES, Cricket Wireless is definitely worth it. The MVNO has some of the best cell plans and features if you’d like to cut down your monthly phone bill. Of course, the basic plan doesn’t have much to smile about, though it does have its goodness, as we shall see later in the article.
But if you can remember our previous talk on Cricket and Visible, we did say the provider usually offers unlimited everything. The only difference is that half of the phone plans have capped high-speed data and the rest unlimited super speeds.
Furthermore, Cricket does have unlimited hotspot data for some of the plans. Then, you can purchase your desired Apple or Android device through Affirm, one of the best buys now pay later sites here in the States.
Is Metro by T-Mobile Worth it?
Well, Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS) also does have an own beauty if you’re thinking of making a switch. In fact, it has some of the finest deals for newcomers, including free cell phones when you move with your number from another carrier.
As for the performance, Metro uses the network infrastructure of T-Mobile, which, by the way, is also its parent company. It also has unlimited everything plans, including data, albeit you’ll have to decide between an unlimited and limited amount of high-speed allowance.
But just like with TracFone and Straight Talk that also use T-Mobile towers, you may experience deprioritization from time to time. Then, the standard video streaming quality is at DVD/ SD quality, though you could stream in HD resolution as shown below.
Cricket vs Metro: Comparing the Features and Perks of the Cell Phone Operators
Typically, this is a win for both Cricket and Metro by T-Mobile. Of course, the carrier network they’re using is different, but the core technology is GSM (or Global System for Mobile Communications). So, you could even put your Cricket SIM card in Metro phone in the event of an emergency and it works.
More on the device sharing, Cricket and Metro can also use branded phones from their carrier network. However, the two MVNOs can’t share the branded devices from their parent networks, as Visible and Total Wireless will share a Verizon-locked smartphone.
In particular in the Midwestern and Northwestern regions, Metro has limited towers. The same applies to a number of cities in the Southern region. So, you might want to consider Cricket Wireless if you don’t want to pay the full-ride of AT&T.
Free 5G Access
Right Before November, Cricket Wireless was offering access to the 5G spectrums if you were on the Unlimited More or Simply Data plans. However, a lot of clients have been complaining about the unfairness till the carrier has finally decided to remove the restriction.
So, as of now, both Cricket and Metro have access to the ultra-fast service at no extra charge. However, the AT&T brand does have a wider coverage compared to its counterpart.
As for the data speeds, either of the two carriers will record varying results depending on where you’re, indoor or outdoor. But again, you’ll come to notice Cricket has slightly better speeds when on the 5G+ mmWave frequencies.
Cell Phone Plans, Pricing, and Performance
If you compare Metro vs Cricket rate plans in terms of pricing, you’ll notice the two are about the same. The lowest plan from either is $30/ month per line while the highest goes for $60/ month.
Even so, Metro starts its rate plan with unlimited high-speed data at $50/ month. Here’s a chart showing the various plans and features to expect from the operator.
|Type of Plan||$30 Cell Phone Plan||$40 Cell Phone Plan||$50 Unlimited Plan||$60 Unlimited Plan|
|Devices||Single Line||Single Line||Single Line||Single Line|
|Regular Price||$30/ mo.||$40/ mo.||$50/ mo.||$60/ mo.|
|2G Unlimited Data||YES (64-128 kbps)||YES (64-128 kbps)||N/A||N/A|
|Mobile Hotspot Data||N/A||N/A||5GB||15GB|
|Video Stream Resolution||(480p Quality)||(480p Quality)||(480p Quality)||(480p Quality)|
Note, Metro by T-Mobile does offer family discounts when you register multiple lines under your account. In the plan bundles, you can save up to $150/ month or $1800/ year, depending on which plan and lines you have got.
Sadly, however, Metro no longer gives the auto-pay discounts as it used to a while back. Also, the two plans with a limited amount of high-speed will throttle the speeds to 128 Kbps or 64 kbps after you finish the allowance.
Speaking of speeds, the Metro 5G service mostly has 100+Mbps and sometimes 200+ Mbps. However, the carrier is still an MVNO, which means you should expect deprioritization when the T-Mobile network is too busy.
Um, another thing, the two Metro unlimited plans will start with 35GB of priority data. If you’re a heavy data user and your consumer goes beyond 35GB, you might experience temporary low speeds when there’s congestion.
Cricket Could Be Better
That’s right. Of course, 90% of the rate plans cost similar to Metro in the first month, but cricket does have a $5 discount when you opt for autopay. The following is a quick summary of the operator pricing and features.
|Features||2GB Cell Phone Plan||10GB Cell Phone Plan||Cricket Core Unlimited Plan||Cricket More Unlimited Plan|
|Devices||Single Line||Single Line||Single Line||Single Line|
|Regular Price||$30/ mo.||$40/ mo.||$55/ mo.||$60/ mo.|
|Auto-pay Price||N/A||$35/ mo.||$50/ mo.||$55/ mo.|
|2G Unlimited Data||YES (up to128 Kbps)||YES (up to128 Kbps)||N/A||N/A|
|Mobile Hotspot||N/A||N/A||15GB Hotspot (for $10)||15GB Hotspot (free)|
|Video Stream Resolution||(Up to HD)||(Up to HD)||(480p Quality)||(480p Quality)|
If you ignore the first month, Cricket can be more worthwhile than Metro by T-Mobile. The Auto-pay discounts can save you five bucks per month on your favorite plan. Then, the prepaid operator also has family plans, which can save you up to $140/ month depending on the number of lines and plan used.
Better yet, Cricket Wireless has higher browsing speeds, ranging up to 1000+ Mbps when you’re on a 5G+ mmWave site. If on the low-band 5G, you can get download speeds of between 100-200Mbps. Or else 8.2 to 45.9Mbps if you’re on the true 4G LTE connection.
Video Streaming Quality
Last but not least, both Cricket and Metro recommend streaming at 480p DVD resolution. However, you could also stream in crispier HD resolution if you won’t worry about draining your high-speed data.
However, to stream in HD using Metro service, you have to purchase the Add-on HD Video pass at $10/ month or premium Tablet plan @ $30/ mo.
On the other hand, Cricket allows you to stream in HD quality by disabling the Stream More optimizer setting. However, this feature doesn’t work with Unlimited Cricket More and Cricket Core, but the limited 2GB and 10GB rate plans. So, it might be expensive in the long run.
Is cricket faster than MetroPCS?
In most cases, you’ll find the low 5G spectrum of the two carriers with download speeds of 100Mbps. Other times your device can record speeds of up to 200 Mbps, considering the place has strong signals. But for those lucky on high-band 5G, Cricket is far faster than Metro as it can reach over 1000Mbps.
Is MetroPCS 5G good?
Indeed, MetroPCS 5G is good enough to browse, stream, game, and video calls with minimal latency (or delay). In fact, you should expect browsing speeds of about 136 Mbps going up to 200 Mbps, which is faster than the 48Mbps on 4G LTE.
What 5G band does MetroPCS use?
Technically, there are three types of 5G bands that carriers use: low-band, mid-band, and high-band spectrums. However, Metro uses the high-band, which is also called millimeter wave (mmWave), and the low-band (600MHz) spectrum. The former is has the best download/ upload speeds if you could find its signals.
Both Cricket and Metro are great operators if you’d like to cut down your monthly phone bills. Not only are they affordable, but also have good coverage, free 5G access, and unlimited everything cell phone plans.
However, Cricket Wireless does have auto-pay discounts and free HD streaming, which is unavailable with Metro. Even better, the AT&T brand has unlimited texting to over 37 countries at no extra charge when on the More and Core plans. Then, the two also have a free pass to call/ text between U.S, Mexico, and Canada.
Therefore, Cricket Wireless is my favorite pick and recommendation if you’re in an area with AT&T coverage.